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     climbing roadtrip 
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JUN
12-15
2016

Category: Idaho
      Trip Report #: 215
Partners: Jeff Lodas (Days 1-3) / Terry Price (Day 4)
Rock Type: Granite
Elev: ~6,500 ft
4 days and lots of climbs 
in the City OF Rocks
A fun start to my summer of climbing.
When the school year ends and I finish a marathon of grading, I am always anxious to climb. But mid-June weather is notoriously iffy in Washington. So where to go? The worthy candidates: Smith Rock (but for some reason I don't enjoy the climbing there), Yosemite (awesome but pretty long drive), or City of Rocks (super fun and reachable in a very long day of driving). So City of Rocks it was! 

On this trip I climbed at the City of Rocks for 4 days with 2 new climbing partners, both whom I planned to join on future trips that summer. For the first 3 days, I climbed with Jeff Lodas. We enjoyed each other's company and climbed several of the 5.10-5.11 classic climbs in The City, such as Animal Cracker, Harvest, Thin Slice, Morning Glory, Double Cracks, Crack of Doom, and more.... On the 4th day, Terry Price and I climbed the 2 popular routes on Stienfell's Dome (Theatre of Shadows and Sinocranium). It was a fun and successful trip to The City. But so much yet to climb. I'll be back.

The following page summarizes the climbs I did on this trip to The City.

DAY 1 (June 12)
Climbs: 5; Total pitches climbed: 9
1. Animal Cracker, Animal Cracker Rock, 1p, 5.10a, trad (led by Jeff) (climbed twice)
2. Harvest, Window Rock, 1p, 5.10d, trad (led by Jeff)
3. Reaper, Window Rock, 1p, 5.11c/d, trad (toprope)
4. Thin Slice, Parking Lot Rock, 1p, 5.10a, trad (led by Steph) (climbed twice)
5. Morning Glory, Morning Glory Spire, 3p: 5.10a, 5.10d, 5.10b, sport (led by Jeff)

Photos:
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Photo descriptions:
a.
  Animal Cracker, one of the coolest flake features in the City. I had wanted to climb this route on my previous trip to the City, but we never got around to it. So, naturally, we climbed it as our first route.
b.  Midway up Animal Cracker.
c.  The upper section of Animal Cracker.
d.  Jeff leading Harvest. This is a quality route featuring mostly 5.9-10 climbing with the 10d crux just before the end.
e.  Looking up Reaper from the base. This route is short, but powerful (11c/d slanting tips layback).
f.  The east side of Window Rock as seen from Animal Cracker.
g.  Thin Slice on Window Rock.
h.  Looking up the second pitch (10d crux pitch) of Morning Glory. This was our last route of the day, since it began to pour as we rappelled the route.


DAY 2 (June 13)
Climbs: 8;
 Total pitches climbed:
 
12
6.  No Cash Refunds, Upper Breadloaves, 1p, 5.7, trad (led by Steph)
7.  Lost Pioneers, Upper Breadloaves, 1p, 5.10a, trad (toprope first, then led by Jeff) (climbed twice)
8.  Green Crack, Upper Breadloaves, 1p, 5.11a, trad (led by Jeff) 
9.  Fred Rasmussen, Upper Breadloaves, 1p, 5.8, trad (led by Steph) (climbed twice)
10.  Double Cracks, King on the Throne, 1p, 5.10a/b, trad (led by Jeff and Steph) (climbed three times) 
11.  Groove Book, Upper Breadloaves, 1p, 5.8+, trad (led by Jeff) 
12.  Urban Renewal, Upper Breadloaves, 1p, 5.11d, trad (toprope) 
13.  Two Bits, Upper Breadloaves, 1p, 5.11a, sport (led by Jeff first, toprope second time) 

Photos:
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Photo descriptions:
a.
  Upper Breadloves as seen from the water pump parking lot. The diagonal crack on the right is Lost Pioneers, which we climbed second of the day. The obvious crack to the top is Urban Renewal, which we climbed at the end of the day.  
b.  Jeff climbing No Cash Refunds, a pretty sustained and interesting 5.7 crack on the right side of Breadloaves North.
c.  Looking up the 10a corner of Lost Pioneers.
d.  Jeff leading Green Crack, a steep and sporty face above and left of the top of Lost Pioneers. This route is not in the guidebook.
e.  A close-up of Jeff leading Green Crack.
f.  Jeff climbing up the splitter hand crack on Fred Rasmussen. It widens to fists just before the finish.
g.  The awesome hand crack on Fred Rasmussen.
h.  Jeff leading Two Bits, a short sport route above Fred Rasmussen. It began to rain just after he pulled the crux, so he blazed to the top and then rappelled. Later that day we climbed this route again on toprope when rapping off the top of Upper Breadloves.
i.  Double Cracks on King on the Throne. This might have been my favorite route of the trip, so I climbed it three times. The polished start certainly felt like 10b, which is the mountainproject rating for the route (the guidebook gives it 10a).
j.  Looking up Groove Book. This is a 0-star route in the guidebook, so hence it is not climbed much. It's not all that bad of a route, but it's quite dirty and vegitated and rather spooky because of the lack of traffic.
k.  Climbing on Groove Book.
l.  The vegitated, dirty crack on Groove Book. There are better climbs in The City.
m.  Looking up Urban Renewal, which we toproped from the top of Upper Breadloves. The 11d crux is the section where the rope goes into in the photo.
n.  Evening light on the City from the top of Upper Breadloaves.


DAY 3 (June 14)
New climbs: 6; Total pitches climbed: 8
14.  Skyline, Morning Glory Spire, 1p, 5.8, trad (led by Steph)
15.  Fall Line, Morning Glory Spire, 1p, 5.10b, sport (led by Jeff)
16.  Crack of Doom, Morning Glory Spire, 1p, 5.11c, trad (led by Jeff) (climbed twice)
17.  Lego, Building Blocks, 1p, 5.10a, sport (led by Terry)
18.  Scraps, Building Blocks, 1p, 5.11a, sport (toprope) (climbed twice)
19.  Later Day Saints, Building Blocks, 1p, 5.11a, sport (led by Jeff)

Photos:

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Photo descriptions:
a.  Looking up Skyline, a popular route on Morning Glory Spire. I had climbed this route last time I was in the City of Rocks and it was worth climbing again as a nice warm-up to the day.
b.  Jeff leading Fall Line as a warm-up before tackling Crack of Doom.
c.  The famed Crack of Doom is just right of center in the photo.
d.  We found a handy stick at the base of Crack of Doom for a stick-clip of the pin. Most climbers end up doing this, to prevent an ankle twisting/breaking fall on the 11d crux start. Apparently the pin was replaced in 2011 after the previous one fell out.
e.  Looking up Crack of Doom from the base. The first 30 feet is the 11d section.
f.  Looking down the awesome hand-fist Crack of Doom.
g.  Jeff enjoying a toprope lap on Crack of Doom after an excellent lead of the route.
h.  Terry leading Lego on Building Blocks.
i.  The west side of Building Blocks. Terry is climbing Scraps in the photo.
j.  Looking up Scraps.
k.  Fun juggy plates near the top of Scraps.
l.  Later Day Saints (spelling as in guidebook) climbs the left-leaning system above the tree. Great sport route.
m.  Cool rock on Building Blocks.
n.  Taking a dip in Dufree Hotsprings in the nearby town of Almo after a day of climbing.

DAY 4
 (June 15)
New climbs: 2; Total pitches climbed: 9
20.  Theatre of Shadows, Jackson's Thumb, 4p, 5.7, sport (led by Steph)
21.  Sinocranium, Stienfell's Dome, 5p, 5.8, sport (led by Steph)

Photos:
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Photo descriptions:
a.
  On the approach to Stienfell's Dome from the Circle Creek Overlook (< 30 minute hike from car to base of route).
b.  Looking down the 5.6 slab on Theatre of Shadows. This climb is bolted for the 5.6 leader.
c.  The nice vista of The City while climbing Theatre of Shadows.
d.  Terry at the top of Jackson's Thumb after climbing Theatre of Shadows. 
e.  Terry on the hanging rappel from the top of Jackson's Thumb (the descent requires two single-rope rappels (a 60m ropeis sufficient) down the NE side of the dome into the gully between Jackson's Thumb and Stienfell's Dome).
f.  When we got back to our packs after the climb, we encountered a queue of climbers at the base of Theatre of Shadows It was nice to be first in line on this route.
g.  Looking up Sinocranium on Stienfell's Dome from the base of the route. Since the first bolt is 20 feet above the ground it is easy to walk past the base of the route.
h.  Looking down Pitch 2 of Sinocranium. The climbing on this route is similar to Theatre of Shadows, but seems a bit harder and the bolts just a tad more spread out (although still comfortingly plentiful).
i.  Looking up at Pitch 4 on Sinocranium. This is the crux (5.8) of the route. It seems harder than 5.8 until you find the holds.
j.  Looking up at the party ahead of us on Pitch 4 Sinocranium.
k.  The steep juggy climbing on Pitch 4 of Sinocranium.
l.  Looking down while climbing the steep 5.8 crux Pitch 4 of Sinocranium.
m.  Looking up from the second rap anchor. (To descend from Stienfell's Dome, make two single-rope rappels (a 60m rope is sufficient) down the gully on the NE side of the dome.) 
n.  Climber on Felspfeiler (5.8) on the right side of Stienfell's Dome.
o.  Flowering cactus.
p.  Stienfell's Dome. Jackson's Thumb is on the left.



Alphabetical List of Climbs on this page...
Animal Cracker, Animal Cracker Rock, 1p, 5.10a, trad 
Crack of Doom, Morning Glory Spire, 1p, 5.11c, trad 
Double Cracks, King on the Throne, 1p, 5.10a/b, trad 
Fall Line, Morning Glory Spire, 1p, 5.10b, sport 
Fred Rasmussen, Upper Breadloaves, 1p, 5.8, trad 
Green Crack, Upper Breadloaves, 1p, 5.11a, trad 
Groove Book, Upper Breadloaves, 1p, 5.8+, trad 
Harvest, Window Rock, 1p, 5.10d, trad 
Later Day Saints, Building Blocks, 1p, 5.11a, sport 
Lego, Building Blocks, 1p, 5.10a, sport 
Lost Pioneers, Upper Breadloaves, 1p, 5.10a, trad 
Morning Glory, Morning Glory Spire, 3p: 5.10a, 5.10d, 5.10b, sport 
No Cash Refunds, Upper Breadloaves, 1p, 5.7, trad 
Reaper, Window Rock, 1p, 5.11c/d, trad 
Scraps, Building Blocks, 1p, 5.11a, sport 
Sinocranium, Stienfell's Dome, 5p, 5.8, sport 
Skyline, Morning Glory Spire, 1p, 5.8, trad 
Theatre of Shadows, Jackson's Thumb, 4p, 5.7, sport 
Thin Slice, Parking Lot Rock, 1p, 5.10a, trad 
Two Bits, Upper Breadloaves, 1p, 5.11a, sport 
Urban Renewal, Upper Breadloaves, 1p, 5.11d, trad